“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
– John 3:16
LIGHT FOR NOW: The giving of Jesus is the love of God.
In our opening text, we see a clear expression of God’s love ‘…that he gave his only begotten son…’. Thus, Jesus being given for us is a clear display or expression of God’s love. Now, a vital question that comes to the fore is, when was Jesus given? Or was the giving of Jesus as seen by John 3:16 in reference to His birth? A sound clarity of our opening text when it arrives will make that text to be appraised rather than being recited like any kind of memory verse. The word, ‘gave’ in the above text has an undertone of a sacrifice from its origins. That is, the giving will be seen in what He did for us, not in His birth. Moreover, the word ‘so loved’ from its original text expresses an emotion (a heart-felt deep emotion).
Thus, the ‘so love’ of God which will be seen in the giving of Jesus (sacrifice) is what happened when He took our place as our substitute and thus became the sacrifice for sin. This did not happen in His birth nor in the womb of Mary but this happened on the Cross. That is, Jesus was not given in the womb of Mary, Jesus was given on the cross for us. It was on the cross that He became the offering for sin. Thus, it was on the cross, that we have the heart-felt (so love) of God.
So, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” points to the cross of Jesus. It was upon that the cross that He was given for us all. Thus, the ‘so love’ of God was seen in His sacrifice, not in His birth because His birth will be of no relevance to humanity without his sacrifice on the cross. His sacrifice for humanity on the cross and consequently his resurrection from the dead is what makes His birth so unique. Thus, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is the heart-felt emotion of God’s love for us. Jesus was given up for us on the cross. Paul in Romans 8:32 echoes this same fact; it reads, “He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” He was delivered up for us all on the cross. Thus, the greatest display of God’s love is the cross of Jesus. Jesus is the gift of God’s love; He is God’s love expressed; He is God’s love displayed; He is God’s love manifested to mankind. To know the impact of God’s love, look into the person of Jesus.
INSTRUCTION: Never lose sight of the fact that you are so loved by God.
PRAYER: Thanks be to God, He hath sanctified and perfected us forever by the one offering of Christ.
QUOTE: His resurrection becomes your resurrection by your identification with His resurrection.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: LUKE CHAPTER 24; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 19